Jason Day bucked the trend on Friday afternoon, completing his round in 70 to be the only man in the second half of the draw to finish with an under-par total.
The world No1, dressed in a short-sleeved polo shirt and waterproof bottoms by the end of his round, battled in the worst of the weather and after making bogey at the 1st produced four birdies on the front nine, the one at the 6th with a long snaking putt up the green to go level. He turned at three under for the day and came back in two over for a 70, three shots better than his first round, which somewhat bizarrely was played in weather more suited for scoring well.
“We totally expected to have conditions that were going to be difficult, but not to the point where it was blowing 30 to 40 miles an hour with winds and rain coming in sideways,” said Day, who is one over for the championship. “I think I went through four gloves during that little time span, and it was coming down pretty heavy on me. My weather gear is totally soaked now, and I’ve got to somehow dry it out before tomorrow.”
The reigning US PGA champion should not need nearly as much gear on day three as the forecast suggests it will be cloudy with bright spells, although quite cool in the morning. There is a also a chance of brighter spells in the early afternoon and light rain later on, when the leaders will be finishing off their third rounds.
Day added that he played through the Saturday downpour in the 2011 Open at Sandwich but said Friday’s conditions were the worst he had experienced. “I was at Royal St George’s going back a few years and it felt like the rain was coming up underneath the umbrella. But for the little time span we had of that [today], that was pretty atrocious.
“I couldn’t get home at 15 unless I hit three wood, but it was a three-shot par four, which was fantastic. At five, the par three, I’m aiming out towards the ocean. I hit a nice five iron up there and it drew another 60 yards at least. The ball’s moving a ton when the wind’s up but that’s just part of the Open Championship. It’s great.”
Day also acknowledged that his side of the draw, playing Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, had been unlucky to experience the worst of the conditions on both days but he would not be unhappy to get more of the same over the weekend. “I was kind of hoping for days like this where it is harder and more tough conditions over the next two days for everyone,” he added. “That should be a lot of fun.
“It’s nice to be able to come into a day like this knowing that I need to play good golf, get on top of my game and shoot 70. Get myself back to making the cut. Hopefully over the next two days I can get myself back into contention. That would be nice. Obviously I’m sitting here 11 [shots] back, and that sounds like a long way back, but you just never know how things go. I’ve got to keep a positive attitude.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010